Harvest 2009 started with the harvest of Chardonnay the week after Labor Day. Unfortunately, due to the persistent rain all season and the restrictive pruning done in the spring, we had a lower crop than 2008. We will be only about 1/3 of the 2008 season. This next year I will adjust the pruning to return to the four cane pruning instead of the 2009 pruning to three canes.
Harvest 2009 of Viognier was two weeks after the Chardonnay pick. Again, some of the fruit was discarded due to the rot. However, Viognier is not as rot prone as Chardonnay which makes it a good variety for the cold climate Midwest. The rot free fruit, about 95% of the pick, was very nice and aromatic. After the pressing the juice smelled like Sauvignon Blanc and was very delicious. The resulting wine will be excellent.
Cabernet Franc TK:
The Harvest of 2009 of Cabernet Franc To Kati block hit a milestone. For the first time, I got a pure 24 brix, other years got 23, 23.5 but never 24. This was achieving a goal that started 12 years ago and even though this 2009 growing season was very cool, the grapes came into the warehouse from the field at 24 brix, about 6.8 TA, and 3.7 PH. Due to the presence of Malic in the TA, we bumped the acid about .5/grams per Liter to adjust down the PH and made wine.
Cabernet Sauvignon TK:
The harvest of 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was conducted in the rain. The forecast changed on us quickly so we harvested in the rain a nice crop of Cab Sauv., sugars came in 23-24 and the seeds were very brown. The crop levels were about the same as last year.
Cabernet Franc SR:
The harvest of 2009 Caberent Franc in Stealth Ridge was a lot darker fruit then the 2008 medium bodied CF. I noticed to due better fruit exposure that we got more consistent darker fruit in the SR bloc. The sugar levels were 23ish and some of the sugar might have been diluted due to the rain as we harvested.
The 2009 Malbec harvest was light due to the decision to not net the vineyard section. All the Malbec was blended into the Malbec that we processed from out of state.
The 2009 Petit Verdot harvest was very nice. Sugars at 23-24 levels. I got to tell you that PV is the most interested grape in the vineyard, it is generally 2 weeks behind in veraison, but seems to check up due to the small size of the grapes. The seeds in PV were very dark like the fruit. This ripening was a proof of concept for me. I will probably plant a 1/2 acre of PV next year.
The 2009 Harvest of Mourvedre was very interesting. Due to the lower crop levels, we achieved 23-24 brix in sugars and the pepper notes of the wine were still there. So I am trying to figure out this pepper. Where is it coming from? The soil or is it from the exposure to the road. It is directly by the white gravel rock road and gets a lot of road dust. Or would this be road pepper? We will know a little more as the other section of Mourvedre comes into 3rd leaf next year.
I was very frustrated with the growing season. The rain amount and frequency created 25% more work in weeding, trimming the vines and spraying for mildew. Boy, in 12 years I cannot remember so much rain. Hopefully, it won't happen for a few years so we can have a little easier time. Again, this year was a test of high pressure, and we fended off the rot for the most part and had a wonderful year.